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From: Andrey Semashev (andrey.semashev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2019-08-26 07:34:28

On 8/26/19 2:02 AM, Ion Gaztañaga via Boost wrote:
> On 22/08/2019 21:37, Michael Caisse via Boost wrote:
>> Copying to dev ML.
>> On 8/22/19 12:05, Gerald Wiltse via Boost-users wrote:
>>> During an annual third-party audit of our source code, boost intrusive
>>> was flagged as containing unlicensed code. Specifically, there are
>>> several pieces of code in this file which are explicitly attributed to
>>> external parties on external websites, which still exist and show no
>>> license.
>>> Original sources:
>>> I don't claim to be a license expert. I've read a lot over the years,
>>> but this is the first time that I've actually been between an attorney
>>> and a codebase having to figure out practical implications of a scenario
>>> like this.
>>> I first want to make sure that Boost committee is aware of this
>>> situation.
>>> Second, I would like to know what the official conclusion would be from
>>> the Boost Committee about the license implications in cases like these.
>>> Maybe it has come up before and is well established. On the surface, the
>>> implications seems ambiguous to me when: DEVELOPER_A takes unlicensed
>>> code off the internet, prefixes it with a comment that says "Thanks to
>>> DEVELOPER_B ", then prefixes the whole file with a file-level copyright
>>> notice that says "COPYRIGHT  DEVELOPER_A", and then says it's
>>> distributed under BSL-1.0 license, and then the boost team
>>> re-distributes the source code.
>>> Internally at my company, there was little discussion about it.  There
>>> is no room for ambiguity, so the directive from management was to delete
>>> the file from our SCM system completely and ensure it never is included
>>> in our products.  VERY fortunately, deleting it doesn't seem to have
>>> broken our builds.  In future cases like this, that's really not what we
>>> want to be doing with your OSS libraries for obvious reasons.  So, I'd
>>> like to know if there's any chance this situation changes in a future
>>> version of Boost (I.E., the code be removed/re-written with clean-room
>>> approach, etc).
> Hi,
> I didn't expect those snippets in the public domain of well-known
> methods could be a problem, and I explicitly thanked the authors.

I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that works under public domain
can be used by everyone in any way, including modifying and
redistributing under a (different) license with no identification of the
original author. Thus using public domain code in a BSL-licensed Boost
library should be fine. That the original author or source was also
acknowledged is legally unneccessary, but is a gesture of gratitude and
good faith.

If I'm wrong then I would like to be corrected by someone who knows for
certain. I think, this might be a good case for the Steering Committee
to ask advice of a lawyer.

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